Cyberhomes, Home Automation Case Study: Control4 Home Cinema
The guys from UK home automation specialists Cyberhomes recently undertook a project to transform a little used snug into a luxurious home cinema in the Oxfordshire countryside. This is a project which has been shortlisted in the upcoming CEDIA awards. Read on for all the details photos and the equipment used in this Control4 setup.
Having invested in and experienced home cinema in the past, the owners required both picture and sound to be of a very high standard to justify the extensive makeover. The main purpose of this room was to allow the family to get the most out of the time they spend together; therefore it was crucial for the system to be intuitive and easy to use.
The cinema system centres on a 2.8m wide motorized screen, dropping down in front the client’s existing 60 inch plasma TV. A full HD projector, complete with discrete in-ceiling lift, was chosen to match. An impressive Genelec 7.2 sound system delivers the dynamic and life-like sound as the director intended. The design is complemented by automated lighting and curtains, all of which are integrated by a central control system.
In order to meet the performance and aesthetic requirements, the Cyberhomes team went about designing a bespoke front wall, complete with cabinetry. This housed five large speakers and four equipment racks, including two for power amplifiers alone. Ventilation ports and cooling fans were also an integral cabinet feature.
A tiered floor structure was designed to suit the required seating locations, and a false ceiling was also constructed to complement the design of the room and house the acoustically transparent screen, four in-ceiling surround speakers and motorized projector lift. This bespoke ceiling structure also acted as a focal point for the unique mood lighting system where a number of LED circuits were combined around the room to provide an endless number of lighting scenes.
The style of cabinetry (including grill-cloths to hide speakers), carpet, wall coverings and motorized curtains, were all selected to compliment the character of the property.
With such an impressive and overwhelming combination of technology in one room, it was very important to select the right control system. A Control4 system was chosen as it integrates control of the home cinema, including lighting and curtains, enabling one-touch activation of all the input devices. The on-screen user interface and wireless remote are the perfect intuitive control partnership.
The curtains close, the lights dim, the widescreen drops down as the projector appears out of the ceiling, and the movie starts playing—all at the touch of a button on the wireless remote control or an iPad.
Throughout the design process the room dimensions (including seating positions), capabilities and limitations of the equipment, manufacturer recommendations and industry best practice were taken into consideration and continuously re-assessed. Although not unlimited, the substantial budget allowed for an audio system with impressive capability. The Genelec active speakers are designed specifically for high quality Home Cinema installations, capable of enormous lifelike output due to the individually matched power and drive units.
As with most rooms, compromises had to be made, but these were minimal. This near perfect canvas, combined with a high degree of trust from the customer, allowed the team of designers and engineers to follow a strict process and continuously work towards the stunning end result. An example of this was having the freedom to build the large left, centre and right active Genelec speakers into the front wall above the plasma TV, but angled down towards the listening positions to keep the set-up geometry within desired limits.
This ability to work at such levels of detail within the prescribed budget allowed for each component of the system to reach rare levels of potential.
Cyberhomes offer bespoke home automation systems using the most cutting-edge technology. Their services include home cinema installations, occupancy simulation and home security and CCTV systems.